Compared to the older German battleships, the five ships of the Braunschweig class showed a improvement mainly in the artillery component. The main artillery grew to 28 cm guns while for the first time 17 cm guns were used as secondary artillery. Being maneuverable and good seagoing ship, they tend to roll in heavy seas, bud did not take over much water as it was common for other German ships of this era.
Like their follow ups, the Deutschland class, those ships were obsolete at the outbreak of the war and their active duty was limited to coastal defence only. They were among the few old battleships that Germany was allowed to keep after World War One and they were actively used by the Reichsmarine until the mid 1930.
was the longest actively used ship of its class. Until 1934 its fate was similar like those of its sister ships, first fleet operation, then floating barrack and then used in the Reichsmarine. Between 1935 and 1937 it was reconstructed as a radio controlled target ship, survived World War 2 and later used by the Soviet navy. For more info's about the target ship Hessen
can be found in the Kriegsmarine section.